(Times Caribbean) St.Kitts-Nevis Minister of Tourism, International Trade and Industry Hon. Lindsay Grant joined counterparts from throughout Caricom in discussions at two Ministerial consultations of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, held in Jamaica.
The first meeting dealt with the Caribbean within the framework of the relations between the European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). The second will address the future of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), as well as the future of the ACP-EU relations after the Cotonou Agreement expires in 2020. Approximately 10 Ministers and 60 senior officials from across the Caribbean participated in the consultations which were held at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston from March 29-30.
The CARIFORUM consultation was held in the context of the ACP Group’s broader reflections on the future direction of the Group, including its relations with the EU. The ultimate aim is to ensure that the ACP Group becomes a more effective global player, with the ability to influence development policy at the global level so that tangible benefits will redound to the peoples of the ACP Member States.
While there is overwhelming support for the continuation of the ACP-EU partnership there is consensus that the ACP must chart its own course and reposition itself in the global arena.
The organisation of the meetings was spearheaded by the CARIFORUM Directorate and the Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, in her capacity as Chair of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
Jamaica’s chairmanship of the CARIFORUM commenced last year July and will end June 30, 2017.
Hon. Grant served as Chairman of ACP Council and ACP-EU Joint Council from 1 August 2016 to 31 January 2017.
The Georgetown Agreement was signed in 1975, and created the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The group is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific States. The Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) refers to the group of Caribbean ACP States that are signatories to the Georgetown Agreement.
All CARIFORUM States, with the exception of Cuba, are signatories to the ACP-EU Cotonou Partnership Agreement (Cotonou Agreement) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), respectively.
CARIFORUM States are: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.